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• Commencement of production at the Moris mine in Mexico marks another important milestone and our successful entry into a third country
• Capacity at the crushing plant has been expanded to 3,000 tonnes per day and the ADR plant has been refurbished
• In the course of 2007, Hochschild is expanding from three operations in one country to six operations in three countries, Peru, Argentina and Mexico
• Hochschild is on track to reach its production target of 26 million silver equivalent attributable ounces in 2007 (14 million silver attributable ounces and 200 thousand gold attributable ounces)
Eduardo Hochschild, Chairman of Hochschild Mining plc, said,
"The Moris mine is a significant first step for developing our presence in Mexico. Moris provides us with a sizable land package in a mineral rich region of the world. We are excited about the surrounding surface and underground potential of this site, which we are currently exploring."
Hochschild Mining plc ("Hochschild") is pleased to announce that it has commenced production at the Moris mine. The operation, located in Chihuahua, Mexico, is an open pit silver and gold mine covering an area of approximately 7,838 hectares. Moris was operated by Minera Manhattan S.A. de C.V. between 1996 and 1999. It is currently a joint venture between Moris Holding S.A. de C.V. (70%), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hochschild, and EXMIN S.A. de C.V. (30%), a wholly-owned subsidiary of EXMIN Resources Inc. ("EXMIN") and is operated by Hochschild.
Along with the mine, we acquired a crushing plant and have expanded its capacity from 1,500 tonnes per day to 3,000 tonnes per day. We also acquired an ADR (Adsorption-Desorption-Recovery) plant which we have refurbished. The ADR plant is used to produce doré once the ore has been crushed and leached on the leach pads. In addition, we have refurbished one existing pad and are in the process of building five additional pads. Throughput capacity at Moris will be 1.06 million tonnes per annum.
Although Moris is currently operating with an open pit mine, we see significant opportunities in the underground potential and geological characteristics of the surrounding 71,000 hectare property package we own, with our partner EXMIN.
Our second major mine in Mexico will be the San Felipe project in Sonora which is targeted to come into production at the end of 2009. In Mexico we now have a regional office in Monterrey and an exploration office in San Luis Potosi. Following our Strategic Alliance with EXMIN and the commencement of production at Moris, we are positioned favorably to create future value for our shareholders through exploration in Mexico.
Consistent with the Hochschild approach to corporate social responsibility we have made significant progress in gaining the support of the surrounding communities most notably the adjacent town of Moris. The Moris operation directly employs 48 professionals as well as approximately 90 front line workers from the surrounding area.
Hochschild Mining plc
Wray Barber +44 (0)20 7152 6014
Head of Investor Relations
Robin Walker +44 (0)20 7251 3801
The Moris mine, located in Chihuahua, Mexico, is an open pit silver and gold mine covering an area of approximately 7,838 hectares. Moris was operated by Minera Manhattan S.A. de C.V. between 1996 and 1999. It is currently a joint venture between Moris Holding S.A. de C.V. (70%), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hochschild, and EXMIN S.A. de C.V. ("EXMIN") (30%) and is operated by Hochschild. The operation consists of an open pit mine, a 3,000 tonne per day crushing plant and an ADR (Adsorption-Desorption-Recovery) plant used to produce doré. The mineralization at Moris represents low sulphidation quartz-sulphide epithermal veins with gold and silver values.
About Hochschild Mining plc
Hochschild Mining plc (HOC.L for Reuters / HOC LN for Bloomberg) is a publicly held company listed on the London Stock Exchange. Hochschild is a leading precious metals company with a primary focus on the exploration, mining, processing and sale of silver and gold. Hochschild currently operates four underground epithermal vein mines, three located in southern Peru and one in southern Argentina and one open pit mine in northern Mexico. Hochschild also has one early stage development project in Mexico. In addition, Hochschild has over twenty long-term prospects throughout Latin America and has over forty years experience in the mining of precious metal epithermal vein deposits.
For further information please visit http://www.hochschildmining.com
EXMIN Resources Inc. (EXMIN) (EXM:TSX-V) is currently focused on the exploration and development of precious metal properties of exceptional merit in the Sierra Madre gold belt of Northwestern Mexico as well as in other highly mineralized areas of Mexico. The company controls more than 2000 square miles of concessions in several mining districts.
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